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Stratagem
Star Trek: Enterprise, episode 66 (3.14)

Last Modified: 28 Jun 2006 13:30:03

         
Cast:
Scott Bakula   IMDB   Captain Jonathan Archer
Connor Trinneer   IMDB   Commander Charles Tucker III
Jolene Blalock   IMDB   Sub-Commander T'Pol
Dominic Keating   IMDB   Lieutenant Malcolm Reed
Anthony Montgomery   IMDB   Ensign Travis Mayweather
Linda Park   IMDB   Ensign Hoshi Sato
John Billingsley   IMDB   Chief Medical Officer Phlox
Guest Cast:
Josh Drennen   IMDB   Thalen
Randy Oglesb   IMDB   Degra
Director:
Mike Vejar   IMDB
Story:
Terry Matalas   IMDB
Teaser

Archer finds himself face-to-face with Degra, the designer of the Xindi superweapon, and tries to trick him into revealing its location.
Synopsis
Upon returning to the Xindi weapon test site, the crew of Enterprise detects a Xindi ship in the area. They attack and board the ship, taking its occupants prisoner. Among the prisoners is Degra, the Xindi-Humanoid who is also the mastermind behind the superweapon. Unfortunately, the Xindi ship's databanks have been mostly erased and Degra and his men are less than helpful. Phlox, however, has discovered an interesting wrinkle in Xindi neurophysiology - it's possible to erase their most recent memories. Archer formulates a plan that involves Phlox erasing Degra's memories and Trip building a small mock shuttlecraft that will be housed on Enterprise.

When Degra awakens onboard the mock shuttlecraft, Archer tricks him into believing that the two men shared a cell in a Xindi-Insectoid prison for the last three years and have recently escaped. Archer explains that the Xindi were successful in deploying their weapon and destroying Earth, but the victory only led to infighting amongst the various Xindi species. The Insectoids attacked the other Xindi colonies and killed thousands of Degra's people. Degra is suspicious of Archer's assertions, but as the two men spend more time together, he has no choice but to believe the captain. Archer seems to be aware of many personal details of Degra's life, including the names of his wife and children. Of course, the whole thing is a ruse - Archer knows these details because some of Degra's personal information was still available in the Xindi ship's database. He continues to try and win the Xindi's trust, hoping that Degra will reveal the location of the superweapon.

Thanks to further subterfuge from the Enterprise crew, Degra comes to believe that his family is still alive and located at the colony of Azati Prime. Archer suspects that Azati Prime may be the location of the weapon. He finally convinces Degra to enter the coordinates into the mock shuttle's computer. Degra, however, seems to be growing more suspicious of Archer. When Archer can't answer a personal question about Degra, the Xindi realizes that he must be part of a set-up and attacks the captain. Trip, Mayweather and the MACOs storm the mock shuttle and drag Degra back to the brig.

Now that he knows he's been tricked, Degra tries to convince Archer that Azati Prime is not, in fact, the location of the weapon. Archer is unsure, so he stages yet another ruse, and tricks Degra into thinking that Enterprise has already arrived at Azati Prime. A desperate Degra blurts out that the ship will never get past the Xindi defense perimeter - just the confirmation that Archer was looking for. Confident that the superweapon is located on Azati Prime, Archer has Phlox wipe Degra's memory clean once again, so the Xindi will not remember his encounter with Enterprise. After returning an unconscious Degra and his men to their ship, Archer sets a course for Azati Prime, hopeful that this will be the last phase of Enterprise's quest for the Xindi weapon.
Reviews

By Ex Deux on 06 Feb 2004 13:58:00
"Stratagem" is both a strong episode in and of itself and a worthy follow-up to "Proving Ground" as part of the Xindi arc. More intriguingly, "Stratagem" is an ENTERPRISE that plays out more like an episode ALIAS.

By committing to the premise of the third season in which Earth and humanity face the threat of imminent extermination, ENT created the problem of a threat that required extreme measures. "Anomaly" is about as far as a STAR TREK series is likely to take the idea of a Starfleet...

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By The Trek Nation on 04 Feb 2004 15:08:00
A marvelously entertaining episode, "Stratagem" advances the Xindi arc, develops an intriguing supporting character, achieves suspense despite a somewhat transparent plot and gives Scott Bakula the opportunity to shine. It's Mission: Impossible in space, with T'Pol and Sato as Barney Collier and Willie Armitage behind the scenes while Archer plays Cinnamon Carter, Rollin Hand and Jim Phelps all rolled into one - seducing, setting up secret surveillance and making the call about when to up the...

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